Tag Archives: Canada

A low-level operative in Ontario, Michael Sona, was convicted after being charged with election fraud during the last federal election. The judge said he likely didn’t operate alone and that the fraud, using the massive Cons voter database to send out thousand of robocalls, benefited only the Cons. Those automated calls, by the way, deliberately misdirected non-Conservative voters by impersonating Elections Canada (which is a crime) and telling people their polling station had been moved to another location. As a result, some people turned up at the wrong address and were so frustrated they didn’t vote at all.

Harper won the last election by a mere 6,200 votes spread over 13 ridings. In my own riding (Yukon) he won by 132 votes. It’s not hard to figure out that, with such narrow margins, fraudulent tactics could give you the edge. Thousands of voters subsequently complained to Elections Canada about the calls. I personally know of a colleague who got such a call and initially thought it was a “mistake.” Naturally. After all, in Canada we don’t do Republican tactics like election fraud, right?

PatriziaNorth

But this extended race will cost Canadian voters, since parties are reimbursed 50% of their campaign expenditures, with candidates getting 60% back on eligible expenses. In the last federal election, those reimbursements alone cost taxpayers C$60m, and they are expected to grow this year.

It’s time to reign in the elections back to just 6 weeks, we don’t need American-style elections!

With a war chest for spending that roughly equals that of the NDP and Liberals together, the Conservatives have been able to unveil a campaign plane that will be used to crisscross the country this week.

And this is the first step down the path of Canada’s political system becoming as corrupt and venal as the donkey show in the States

I do hope Harper gets a majority and reforms the Canada Elections Act, starting with those odious third party spending limits,

Supreme Court Nominee Russ Brown, comes to us by way of Scalia and Thomas (as in, MONEY MONEY MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND, SO DRINK IT DOWN!)

Could Canadian “Tea Party” folks be far behind?

For those of us who cannot affored to travel to the United States for private health care are left with only one choice, the government’s health care. And when you only have one choice, you really have no choice whatsoever.

Let’s dissect this notion as it presented:

  1. For those of us who cannot afford to travel to the United States for private health care…So, if there was Private health care in Canada you imagine you could afford it?  The last time I checked the cost of a flight into the USA was the gas to cross the border then 99 bucks on southwest to pretty much anywhere.  So minus those 300 or so dollars the rest of the (20 to 30 thousand dollars) are totally in reach?
  2. The Government’s health careChosen by an elected government and easily changed by wide complaint.  When the people (as a majority) are unhappy those folks in Ottawa are fairly quick to react as public opinion really does shape policy.
  3. When you can only have one choice…
    See point one; if someone cannot afford the new special private tier” they are stuck with the public (possibly underfunded due to the Private Clinics stealing funds from the public coffers like they do in the States) system anyway, how is that more “fair”.
Face it; with few exceptions, ensuring that every Canadian has access to the same level of care is at least more equitable than allowing the more affluent to bypass the line.  There’s nothing like a Queue to level the playing field.
Photo Credit to Ivy Dawned

Well it didn’t snow in September

ThanksGivingWhat

It didn’t end up snowing in September, which is great.  Not that the weather has been so great in London for the past week, but at least it didn’t snow.

The funny thing is that today I pulled on my layered clothing (undershirts, long trousers and and a sweater) and went outside and thought “The weather is pretty nice out today”  it was kinda warm and sunny.  The extra clothes made it comfortable outside.  I abandoned shorts on Monday for jeans, it’s just too cold.

I think 2007 with it’s very very late summer (right into November) was some kind of evil tease, as this year has been fairly close to COLD ALL THE TIME.

I know the calender means nothing to the weather; but the whole of the summer was a washout, one could only hope for a nice autumn.  No such luck, given the forecast we should be seeing snow on the ground requiring removal by mid to late October.  Some municipalities are going to really suffer this year if the weather doesn’t turn around soon.

Look for local news stories about Snow Removal budgets being drained somewhere before the end of January.

We Trashed-Out

This is a long-form response to this discussion on Metafilter (since I don’t want to sign in to yet another website this AM)

At 5:30AM August 22nd 2007, after a couple weeks of selling and giving away our stuff, and loading a trailer over the past two days we thought that it would take us about 2 hours to finish getting rid of the stuff in our house.  Over the next 6 hours we would struggle to get the last remains of our lives out of the town house we had lived in the entire time we live in the United States.  Hopelessly in debt and under the schedule gun, we had left the house empty but dirty.  We had filled entire dumpster with what we couldn’t give away along with the area around it (with beds and furniture) and a trailer incorrectly filled with the most precious things we could bring with us.  We had sweated through the last remaining bits of our home and still had several hundred miles of driving ahead of us, after my last “day” at the office.

When we did the same in Canada march 1st 2002, we had used the 14 foot long truck from U-Haul and had still left most of our furniture behind to be taken by a nice polish family, along with several computers, a whole kitchen and a whole hall closet full of “stuff”.  When we finally arrived in the United States, we had only what we could carry in our luggage with us.  It had taken us 8 hours to clean out our house and the friend I had promised to pay for coming to help us showed up after 7 of them.  We had needed his help badly and he expected to be paid the full amount for his minimal work.  I was too tired to disagree and he happily took his money after doing almost nothing. He was unemployed at the time, having lost his job in the same downsize that had taken my entire office out.

When we moved into the Apartment we would eventually leave in 2002, we had the contents of one room.  It was all we had in the world.  Enough “stuff” to fill one room.  My old roommate cleaned out the bits we had left behind and gave it to me in March of 1998.  We sat in a restaurant and shared the last meal we ever would, I haven’t seen that roommate again, and neither have most of the people we both knew.  In this case, Jen and I trashed out a friendship.

When I left my first apartment in 1996, I left behind all of the goods that my parent’s had gifted to me to make apartment life better, my desk, my furniture, cutlery, a vacuum cleaner, dishes, a microwave and random things.  All left, all listed with prices and resale vales to cover a bill my old landlord had given me for a backed up toilet.  80 dollars.  The landlord had rejected the notion that I be allowed to have Jen stay overnight or on the weekends, she was living with me, but the landlord had wanted her to pay rent while sleeping in my one room.  She moved into her own place, but visited frequently, the landlord felt she was over enough to pay rent (how many times have you heard that line from a parent) and so he actually called the police over it.  The police asked me if I wanted to charge the landlord with harassment and urged me to move.  I moved.

When we move on, we leave some of our stuff behind, its inevitable.  We live anywhere long enough and we leave an indellible mark, beyond the stains, on a place.  That townhome in Eugene might not have the pencil marks on the underside of the counters anymore, but it probably still feels like a home that as loved.  When I leave the condo i live in now, it will probably feel like leaving home again.  Sometimes a trash-out is the only way to say goodbye to home.